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Politics of Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Source: classfmonline.com

I'm 'disappointed' in 'frustrated' Mahama – Oppong Nkrumah

The Parliamentary candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said the “calm and measured” President John Mahama he knows is now sounding “conceited and frustrated.”

“I’m sad to say this, but what I’m hearing the President speak right now is a language of somebody, who is conceited and frustrated,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah told Kojo Yankson on the Super Morning Show on Tuesday in reference to the President’s comments that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the NPP’s running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo, does not have the right to describe him as “incompetent” because he (Bawumia) and other NPP critics have no idea what it means to be President. Mr Mahama also said he will not allow “useless insults” from the NPP distract him.

"…You still hear Bawumia say incompetent Mahama? You’ve never held any responsibility near the presidency before; you don’t know what it is like to be President.

"I’ll take that from Kufuor or from Rawlings because they’ve been there before. All of you guys [NPP critics] have never ever come near the presidency. [Do] you know what it takes to be a President? And you stand and say ‘incompetent Mahama administration,’” the President said at a rally at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra during the launch of the 60/40 project by the Greater Accra Regional Branch of the NDC ahead of the 2016 elections.

The President’s response followed Dr Bawumia’s recent assertions that "reckless" borrowing by the Mahama administration will saddle Ghana with a total debt stock of nearly GHC100 billion by the end of the year.

"We’ll reach GHC99billion by the end of this year," the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana told journalists after Finance Minister Seth Terkper read the 2016 budget to Parliament on Friday.

"The interest on this debt alone is going to be six times Ghana’s oil revenue," Dr Bawumia said.

Dr Bawumia also accused the President of running a friends-and-family, as well as 'dumsor' and dead-goat economy.

In his response, however, President Mahama asked Dr Bawumia: "What do you know about competence?"

"All of them [NPP critics], in the offices they occupied, they should tell us what competence they displayed," Mr Mahama challenged.

"Anyway, my competence is not for them to judge, it’s for the people of Ghana to judge, and I know that come 7 November 2016, the people of Ghana will judge my competence and they’ll give me a second term in office and the NDC will win another victory by the grace of almighty God," he said.

However, the former host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM said: “The question of the President’s competence in handling some of these matters of state are very fair questions that anybody, who is a Ghanaians should be able to ask.”

“I think for me that’s a bit surprising and disappointing,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said of Mr Mahama’s comments, recalling that Mr Mahama as communication director of the NDC in the past, as well as Vice-President, criticised the NPP and “questioned heavily” the things that the Kufuor administration did. “He questioned the competence of the Kufuor administration…today President Mahama is telling us…that if we have not been President before, we don’t qualify in questioning his competence in managing affairs of the state.”

Adducing evidence to justify Dr Bawumia’s criticism of the Mahama administration as incompetent, Mr Oppong Nkurmah said: “Look at our current energy situation in Ghana, look at the promises President Mahama made about them in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; making several promises about X will be done by this time, it will end by this time. The question Dr Bawumia has been asking over the period is that: ‘Is this the competent way of handling our current energy situation?’ And the jury is out there,” the former broadcaster told his successor host.

In addition, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the country’s current debt stock and the amount of money spent on servicing interest on that debt, coupled with the recent increase in the policy rate to 26 percent by the Bank of Ghana, among a raft of other issues, justify the criticism of the President’s management of the economy.

“It is fair comment to ask about the competence with which the President is handling these matters, and I don’t think as a starter that it is appropriate for the President to tell us that until and unless we have been Presidents, we lack the right to question his competence in handling these matters,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah noted.

On the “useless insults” Mr Mahama made reference to, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said: “The calm measured fellow that we knew President Mahama to be is not the same fellow that was speaking at the Trade Fair yesterday,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah added.